Rayvanny set to leave Wasafi...only if he raises Sh25 million
Wasafi Record Label (WCB) signee Raymond Shaban Mwakyusa, known to many by his moniker Rayvanny, is set to leave the label, Nation understands.
His imminent departure from the Diamond Platnumz owned label has dragged far too long forcing him on several occasions to clarify the speculations that have wafted the air for the last two years or so.
According to source, the impending exit is yet to materialize because Rayvanny hasn’t been able to raise the funds required to buy out the remainder of his reportedly 10 year contract.
Every time Rayvanny has had to address the matter, he has always pledged loyalty to WCB.
Last month he raised eyebrows once again when he made changes to his Instagram profile editing out ‘a mandatory’ tagline ‘Signed Under WCB Wasafi’ that customarily features on all Wasafi artistes' social media accounts bios. To date he remains the only artist under WCB without the tag on his bio.
Rayvanny made the changes hot on the heels of his latest remarks made back in February this year, that he is at WCB to stay.
“So much has been said about me wanting to ditch Wasafi. WCB has been nothing but supportive and forever they will remain part of me because they made me who I am today. It’s normal when you are under a label for there to be disagreements on various issues. If a time comes for Rayvanny to leave, he will but for now, I am Wasafi for life.” Rayvanny remarked back then while announcing an endorsement deal with a betting firm.
Just recently, while on his USA tour to promote his latest Extended Play record (EP), First of All-FOA, choosing his words carefully, Diamond revealed of an impending exit from his label, which many interpreted to be a response to Rayvanny editing his Instagram bio.
“This year there are artists who will leave Wasafi to do their own things. I will support them. We can’t always have the same artists at Wasafi.” Platnumz said in an interview with BBC.
But for Rayvanny to part camp with WCB, the money has to be right.
Sometime in March this year, fresh reports emerged claiming Diamond had asked for Sh98 million from Rayvanny to allow him ditch the label he joined in early 2016.
The claims were made by Tanzania’s popular social media influencer and Clouds FM radio presenter Mwemba Burtoon famously known as Mwijaku
However, according to sources in Dar es Salaam, Rayvanny will be allowed to exit peacefully and have all the rights to his music produced under WCB should he raise the Sh25 million required.
“I heard what Mwijaku said but the figure I’m so sure about is Sh25 million release clause. For a start Ray was asked to deposit Sh2.5 million before the negotiation can proceed further. I am not sure if he already did.” the source, a former WCB employer revealed.
Artistes signed under WCB are not allowed to discuss their contract terms outside the label, denting our efforts to verify Rayvanny’s contractual obligations to the label.
It is understood Diamond Platnumz is not happy of the impending exit of Rayvanny as this would mean losing some substantial revenue brought in by the ‘Te Amo’ hit maker who is currently the second highest WCB income generator after him.
But, with Rayvanny determined to part ways so as to focus on his newly launched Next level label, Platnumz wants to avoid a messy and noisy divorce as was witnessed when Harmonize left in 2019.
Diamond wouldn’t wish to see a repeat of the same, especially at a time when he feels his label is being targeted by the government.
Diamond has openly claimed government agencies; Tanzania art council (BASATA), Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority and the Copyright Society of Tanzania (COSATA) are out to frustrate his WCB label.
His hit song ‘Mtasubiri’ is currently banned from airplay by TCRA and BASATA on all Tanzanian mainstream media and other social outlets just a few months after all Wasafi artistes were not considered for royalties.
In addition, Diamond feels Rayvanny has been civil in approaching the matter compared to Harmonize who bulldozed his way out of the label.
But most importantly it is the respect Platnumz harbors for one of his team managers Babu Tale, the Morogoro South legislator.
“Rayvanny is technically Babu Tale’s artist. As an A&R (Artist and Repertoire), he scouted Rayvanny from Tip Top Connection and pitched him to Diamond and that’s how he ended up signing for Wasafi. All Rayvanny’s deals, Tale has to be involved even in this exit negotiation he is. It’s the same case with Mbosso who is Mkubwa Fella’s artist, who also forms part of Platnumz’s management team”, the source explained.
When Harmonize handed in a termination request of his 10-year contract he described as exploitative in 2018, he was the second highest income generator at the label.
According to Harmonize, Diamond was reluctant to let him leave, prompting him to force his way out.
To part ways, he was asked to pay Sh25 million as release clause but ended up chunking Sh29.7 million.
“We had agreed that I would pay a Sh25 million-release clause. I was to pay the money in two installments but when I sold my house and raised the first instalment as agreed tables were turned. Even after I had struggled to raise the remaining funds, I was slapped with an additional fine allegedly for defaulting on several contractual obligations,” Harmonize disclosed last year at an impromptu press conference.
The Uno singer claimed even after raising all the money, Diamond still was reluctant to sign his release papers that he had to seek the intervention of the late president John Magufuli. Since leaving, the once inseparable pair relationship has gone from bad to worse by day.
“Diamond wouldn’t want such a scenario with Rayvanny and there is a possibility he would pay less than Sh25 million. From what I have heard, should the negotiation go well depending on what both parties settle on, Rayvanny may end up parting with about Sh14.8 million,” the source added.
Rayvanny's purpose of exit is to have independence to establish his Next Level label having found a Zambian investor who is behind the push. The investor is said to be ready to invest heavily but wants to avoid a collision with Wasafi.